‘IT’ kills it at the box office this weekend, did it live up to the hype?

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My friends and I went to go see IT around 4pm on Saturday. We bought the tickets ahead of time online and the showing was crowded but not full. There were more people lined up outside the theater when we left than I’ve ever seen before. The vast majority were also there to see IT, which earned $117 million domestically and $179 million worldwide its opening weekend. Only two other movies have opened better at the box office this year, Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of The Galaxy 2. When all is said and done, IT will likely be in the top five highest grossing films of 2017. That’s extraordinary because not only is IT doing so well, it’s doing so well at a time when hurricanes have decimated parts of Texas and have caused the evacuation of large parts of Florida:

The New Line and Warner Bros. adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is officially shattering box office records during its opening weekend. The R-rated horror film should make a whopping $117.2 million from 4,103 locations, far surpassing earlier expectations. That would give “It” the third-largest opening weekend of 2017, about even with “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” which made $117 million. Only “Beauty and the Beast” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” earned more this year. And $7.2 million of “It’s” domestic grosses are coming from 377 Imax screens.

“It” earned a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes of 87% and a B+ CinemaScore. Its gender breakdown is reportedly 51% female and 49% male. About two thirds of the audience has been over 25 years old.

“It’s” opening is mostly unprecedented, crushing the record for largest September debut set by “Hotel Transylvania 2” in 2015 with $48.5 million, and the biggest opening weekend banked by a horror or supernatural film — “Paranormal Activity 3” earned $52.6 million in 2011. When it comes to R-rated movie launches, “It” falls only to “Deadpool,” which changed the game in 2016 with a massive $132.4 million opening. This, during a weekend when Hurricane Irma threatens huge portions of Florida and Georgia, which could dent attendance by as much as 5%.

[From Variety]

Mild spoilers for IT below
Honestly I was disappointed in IT. I think it may be because I like slow burn atmospheric horror and IT was more of the in-your-face slasher variety. The jump scares and graphic scenes made my friend and I laugh, almost without exception. There was a real campiness to IT that the film skirted but didn’t fully embrace. The friendships between the children were believable and the dialog was especially funny, but many of the scenes felt formulaic. I wanted more depth from IT – at times it seemed like a pale copy of Stranger Things without the character development or immersive feeling of the series. All of the parents were cartoonish and unlikable and I didn’t particularly care what happened to any of the kids. Don’t get me wrong I’m glad I watched IT, the movie delivered somewhat and I will watch it again when it’s free on demand, but due to the hype I expected so much more. Given the quality of films we’ve seen recently (Get Out, Spiderman Homecoming, Wonder Woman, Guardians 2, etc) it should have been much better executed. While I haven’t seen Annabelle Creation yet, I found the first two Conjuring movies scarier and frankly better. Also if you’re looking for a retro horror movie that leaves most of the scariness to the imagination, see It Follows or Let the Right One In.

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79 Responses to “‘IT’ kills it at the box office this weekend, did it live up to the hype?”

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  1. Horse Marine says:

    I hated it. It completely failed to capture the magic of the books (the special relationship between the kids) and they showed Pennywise so many times he-well, it just stopped being scary as far as I’m concerned. UGH!

  2. third ginger says:

    It was creepy rather than terrifying. The children are amazing!! LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is one of the best horror movies I have ever seen [been watching them for more than 50 years.]

  3. Stormyshay says:

    I watched it during a 7pm showing on Saturday. It was sold out and all subsequent showings for the day were as well.

    I thought it was good. Better than I expected. Maybe I am in the minority but I may even like it better than the original. The original scared the hell out of me as a kid. I hate clowns to this day. I watched the first one yesterday. It was not nearly as terrifying as I remember. That may be because special effects are so much better nowadays. The obvious cuts for commercial breaks also bothered me.

    I like that the new one follows a chronological timeline, instead of starting with them as adults and doing a series of flashbacks. I felt the kids in the new one were well developed. It was believable they were friends. I cannot say their friendship in the original felt as believable to me.

    Tim Curry as It was great. Part of what made him so terrifying was he seemed like a normal, joyful clown until he wasn’t. Bill’s interpretation of Pennywise is the opposite. You know immediately something is off with his character. The remake certainly went for more scares. I liked it.

    • cleveland girl says:

      Nice review. Thank you!

    • Selena Castle says:

      Agreed. There will never be a Pennywise better than Tim Curry’s.

    • tealily says:

      I agree, the new one was way better in my opinion. I didn’t see the old one until I was an adult, and was pretty disappointed. Tim Curry is great, but the rest really wasn’t that scary. I always wished I’d seen it when I was 9 like everyone else and maybe I would be more creeped out by it.

      This film was packed with fun, eye-covering moments, some creepy imagery, and lots of laughs from the audience. People were yelling out “don’t go down there!” etc. and it was really a group viewing experience at it’s best. It was about an hour and a half in before it occurred to me that they weren’t going to address the adult storyline in this movie. What a relief! It didn’t drag at all and I’m actually looking forward to Part 2.

      • kNY says:

        I’m totally going to go see the new one – happy that you all thought it was worthwhile. I LOVED the miniseries as a kid (I watched it through my fingers, as they were always on my face because I was terrified). There was something really comfortable about the miniseries. I think I just miss the 90s.

    • FLORC says:

      I didn’t feel curry’s pennywise was normal. He was sinister from the start. You felt it. You knew it.
      This pennywise is sinister af. And he’s charasmatic. You know something is off, but he seems to pull you in.
      I haven’t seen the movie yet. This is my impression from the trailors.

  4. Nicole says:

    It was creepy and terrifying so I liked that aspect. What I hated was the elimination of some of the backstories and the racial undertones of the original. I thought that was a huge miss. There’s a lot of nuance that they eliminated. Ultimately it was good but not better than the original IT movie or book

  5. Rosalee says:

    I was annoyed with how removed Mike’s contributions to the Losers Club his family’s origins with Derry and in the book he’s the historian. Instead of he being a student in a different school they reduce him to killing sheep in a processing plant. Bugger

    • Saro says:

      I totally agree, and it really bothered me as well that in a 2017 film the one losers club member whose role was reduced was the lone losers club member of color. Why transfer Mike’s role as historian to Ben? I hope his role as the glue/heart of the losers club isn’t transferred to Ben in the sequel. As for celebitchy’s comments about the adults all being bad, I think that’s true to the book and the idea that the clown is one part of the horror and evil of the town, but the adults are a second, less obvious layer, whether through their abusive actions or their blind eye inaction

    • Dj says:

      I was totally P.O. They whittled down Mike’s contributions as well. He was the mortar that held the group together in that way. Also, after everyone else leaves as adults their memories fade and not Mike’s because he stays. For me it was not nearly as good as the book. The original miniseries looks dated but I think I still prefer it to this movie. The kids are great in the movie but I was not happy it was two parts as seems to be EVERY damn book adapted by Hollywood these days!

  6. Tiffany27 says:

    Someone please help me……. Bill Skargard looks so good to me and I do not understand why???

  7. Kate says:

    I liked it. Not a great movie, but I think maybe the kind of movie people were in the mood for right now. Escapist while not being a happy or comfortable watch.

  8. Insomniac says:

    I really liked it. It’s a shame they had to chop so much backstory out, but I don’t see what choice they had. Looking forward to the adult half.

  9. Rachell says:

    I almost fell asleep during the movie. It was not a good movie; and I am still trying to figure out why they say it is?

  10. JustJen says:

    I liked it, more than the original which I wasn’t expecting. I think the remake was closer to the book’s version. I didn’t like the constant flashbacks of the original, with this one focusing solely on the kids you could get to know their characters. Pennywise was TERRIFYING! I’m not going to name scenes but there were more than a few that left me in “HOLY CRAP” mode. Beverly’s character was more in-depth and I thought it was great that the actor playing Richie was from Stranger Things. The theater was packed but ours has assigned seating so no chaos.

  11. If y’all like Bill Skarsgård, try watching Hemlock Grove on Netflix. He’s one of the main characters. 3 seasons long and I thought it was a really good show. Famke Janssen stars in it too if you’re a fan of her.

  12. Brandi says:

    I loved the movie!! Thought it was perfect. Scared the hell out of me.

  13. Michelle says:

    My 17 year old daughter has gotten into watching horror movies and she said that Annabelle Creation was the scariest she has seen so far. She is anxious to see IT d I am too because I am going to tie a red balloon to her car when she is not expecting it. Yes, I am one of those parents…

  14. Talie says:

    I loved it, but not for the scares…I thought it had a great Stand By Me aspect to it. I was very invested in the friendship between the kids and I thought their chemistry was off-the-charts.

    Also, Amy Adams has to play Beverly in the sequel! I mean, the young actress is a dead-ringer for her.

  15. Chem says:

    Wow! In that photo one of the kids looks like Emma Watson way to much

  16. Dragonlady sakura says:

    All of my friends loved the movie but I didn’t go see it. I hate clowns…like I have an irrational fear of all clowns, especially ones with pointy teeth. I wouldn’t go see this if you paid me.

  17. Abby_J says:

    I don’t do horror movies, and the book for this scared me to death when I read it, but my niece wants to go see It. She is almost 16, and hasn’t been scared by anything her parents (or my husband and I) have tried to show her. I showed her The Shining, followed by Psycho, (both still freaks me out) and she was bored. Anyway, think It will scare her?

    Also, if her favorite Auntie were to go to her house while she’s seeing it, and tie a red balloon to the air vent in her room, would I scar her for life? :)

  18. MC2 says:

    I can’t with IT. I despise this book due to the section where the young boys all have sex with the one 11-yr-old girl who “begs them to”. Kiddie group sex is not a thing except in the fantasy mind of a sicko adult. I had issues with the dudes that I grew up with who read this, loved it & I had no words (yet) to tell them why it was not okay. I generally hate 80s pop culture though. As a whole, the popular movie & books in the 80s were not nice to girls, women or rape culture. Maybe that’s every single decade though….

  19. Rainbow says:

    I read the book when I was 15 and it stuck by me to this day. Saw the TV series and did not like it save for Tim Curry’s Pennywise.

    Saw the movie yesterday and I thought it was absolutely fantastic. It is not very scary as a whole but it was terrifying in the moments it needed to be. It had humour, it had fun, and it had heart. Frankly, I felt this was one of the best adaptation of King’s work and I believe King himself said the same thing. The Shining was an iconic movie, easily Top 5 Best Horror Movies of All Time. But it was all terror and sinister.

    IT, on the other hand, is more than just horror. I actually liked that Pennywise wasn’t the central character. Bill Skarsgard did a phenomenal job. There was one scene where Pennywise did an eye trick that was not CGI. That was all Bill. He gave his own interpretation of Pennywise and I loved the way the clown would look happy but then immediately slide into an evil expression the next. It really drove home the point that Pennywise is not of this world.

    There were scenes where I was totally shocked and made me jump, but the scenes with actual humans were more terrifying to me. Henry Bowers. Bev’s dad. The pharmacist. The bullies like Greta.

    But it was the kids and their bond that are at the heart of the movie and that worked so well for me because the main reason why Pennywise got so strong is because he preyed on the fear of children. He manifested in different ways to try and isolate the children from each other.

    It was the same for the audience. We got scared when the kids got scared. But that final scene? When the kids conquered their fears? Oh, man. The whole theatre where I was in was erupting in cheers for the kids to emerge victorious, and I was one of those wanting to yell “f*ck yeah!” as those kids stuck by each other and propped each other up in times of need.

    I connected to those kids in a way I didn’t think I would. Most movies I’ve seen this year were just entertainment. I didn’t feel as invested in them as I did with IT. And it’s down to those kids and relating to their fears, but also absorbing their growing strength and friendship through the screen, that got to me. Yeah, sure Annabelle was scarier. But I didn’t want to see Annabelle again after watching it the first time.

    IT, though? I’d watch it again many more times just for the kids. Those kids were excellent. I loved them all, but while Finn’s take on Richie was great, and Sophia’s Beverly was the total badass I hoped she would be, and Georgie and Bill’s love for each other shone, it was Jack’s Eddie that blew me away. I’m happy they’re smashing records and the movie is doing so well. Everyone who worked on that movie deserves it.

  20. Karen says:

    I saw it Friday night and really enjoyed it. I loved the book when I read if a million years ago, not as crazy about the mini-series (tho I did love Tom Currys Pennywise).
    This will most definitely be 2 parts, the success at the box office pretty much assures it.
    To the poster that said Cary Fukanaga was not involoved needs to watch again. He was originally going to direct it, but stepped away from that.
    He did however….write the screenplay. (His original draft was used as basis for the movie with some changes)

    • Éire says:

      This is late to the party and no one will probably read it; but, that’s not actually quite right about Fukunaga. There was a creative split between him, his co-writer and the studio. It apparently wasn’t amicable, and they wouldn’t give him the script back. He wanted it back and tried to get it back. In the end, they used it as nothing much more than an outline–and I say that as someone who has read both versions. There are parts that they kept in and ideas certainly as well, but the reason it’s a bit disjointed is because it’s two seperate creative streams cobbled together. I didn’t much like Fukanaga’s script either, but it was certainly a better resolved vision.

  21. Rooskie says:

    Film adaptations are just that–an adaptation! It will never EVER live up to the book and the story that you see/create in your mind. That being said, this adaptation was great!

  22. Tanya says:

    The kids performed good. The movie served more creeps than terror. I laughed more than I expected, though.